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Apple Daily: New Retina iMac coming?; Apple Pulls Confederate Flag Apps; Taylor Swift to Stream ’1989′

Apple just involved itself in the timely debate over the display of the Confederate flag by yanking some Civil War-focused games from the App Store, and some onlookers believe Apple’s actions are more harsh than necessary. In other news, Taylor Swift has agreed to allow streaming of her album 1989 on Apple Music, and code in the El Capitan beta hints that we might be seeing a 21.5-inch Retina iMac sometime soon.

OS X El Capitan Beta Code Hints at 21.5-Inch Retina iMac

Once more, secrets in Apple’s code seem to hint at upcoming products, and this time it’s the code for the OS X El Capitan beta suggesting that we can expect a 21.5-inch Retina iMac with 4096 x 2304 resolution at some point in the future (via 9to5Mac). Apple has already released a gigantic 27-inch Retina iMac, but the Cupertino company reportedly has had to wait on the proper chips before it can achieve the same results with a smaller 21.5-inch model.

Adding fuel to the speculation is the discovery of references to a new graphics chipset known as Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200, which is integrated with Intel’s Broadwell processors and which just launched earlier this month. There’s a chance that the chipset is actually meant to be included in the MacBook line, but it should also work well for a 4K iMac.

The code also points to a new Bluetooth Remote Control, which features a multi-touch trackpad with inertial scrolling support and possible support for Siri commands. Current speculation from multiple outlets seems to agree that this is upcoming redesigned Apple TV remote, which alleged insider sources first discussed with The New York Times back in May.

 

Apple Confirms It’s Removing Apps with Confederate Flag from App Store

Earlier this morning Apple made headlines when Civil War-focused games like Ultimate General: Gettysburg started disappearing from the App Store, presumably in response to the widespread protests against the display of the Confederate flag in the wake of the Charleston church massacre last week. This afternoon, Apple confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it had indeed removed apps from the App Store featuring the Confederate flag, at least if they used it “in offensive or mean-spirited ways.”

In its statement, Apple claims that it hasn’t enacted a wholesale ban on the flag, and that images of the flag can remain if they’re shown for “educational or historical uses.” The problem is that Apple appears to be interpreting “offensive and mean-spirited” quite broadly, as it has even pulled games like Hunted Cow’s Civil War series, which simply features the flag in its historically accurate context as the flag of the army of the Confederate States of America.

Source: Game-Labs

Apple is said to be working with the developers to get their apps on the App Store again, although reportedly this mostly entails replacing the Confederate flag with some other flag. In one case, developer HexWar plans to replace the familiar St. Andrew’s cross with a lesser-known flag from 1861. In the meantime, critics throughout the Internet are pointing out the seeming inconsistency of removing the Confederate flag from such settings while leaving flags with Nazi swastikas visible in iOS games like Wolfenstein 3D.

For its part, Game-Labs, the developer behind Ultimate General: Gettysburg, announced on its blog that won’t redesign its game to fit Apple’s policies. The studio reports that educators have found their game to be a useful tool for teaching history in the classroom, particularly for understanding key battles from the commander’s perspective.

“Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List‘ did not try to amend his movie to look more comfortable,” Game-Labs said in its notice. “The historical “Gettysburg” movie (1993) is still on iTunes. We believe that all historical art forms: books, movies, or games such as ours, help to learn and understand history, depicting events as they were. True stories are more important to us than money. Therefore we are not going to amend the game’s content and Ultimate General: Gettysburg will no longer be available on AppStore. We really hope that Apple’s decision will achieve the desired results.”

 

Taylor Swift to Allow Streaming of ’1989′ Album on Apple Music

Mere days after Apple reversed its stance on paying artists during Apple Music’s three-month free trial period following an open letter from singer Taylor Swift, Swift has taken to Twitter to announce that she’ll be streaming her hit album 1989 on Apple Music after all. Last week, Swift announced on Tumblr that she was pulling the album in protest of Apple’s initial decision not to pay artists during the trial.

Late yesterday, The New York Times revealed that Apple would pay artists 0.2 cents for each song streamed during a customer’s trial period, which potentially amounts to a hefty sum of cash considering Apple’s pool of millions of listeners. Swift claimed on Twitter that her decision wasn’t based on any exclusive deal with Apple (such as the one Pharrell Williams made for iTunes exclusivity with his upcoming single “Freedom”), but rather because she believes this “is simply the first time it’s felt right in my gut to stream my album.” Swift’s 1989 album currently isn’t available for streaming on Spotify, one of Apple’s chief rivals in the streaming arena.

The news follows on the heels of yesterday’s revelation that Apple’s decision to pay artists during the trial period had won over indie music rights holders Beggars Group and Merlin Network, thus bringing over 20,000 indie music brands over to Apple Music in time for the service’s launch on June 30. The Cupertino company announced Apple Music as the “one more thing” during this year’s WWDC keynote on June 8, where it also revealed that users will pay a monthly subscription fee of .99 following a three-month free trial period.

The service will initially launch for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC, although versions for Apple TV and Android are expected to appear sometime this fall.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.

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